16th April 2021

Llanelli Online News

Llanelli's First For Hyperlocal News

Ammanford Office of South Wales Guardian set to close

THE South Wales Guardian is set to close it’s offices in Ammanford.

This follows the closure of the Llanelli Star office in Cowell Street and the Carmarthen Journals office in King Street.

In 2015, the paper celebrated its 60th anniversary, having established in 1955.

Steve Adams of the South Wales Guardian said it would be ‘inappropriate to comment’ at this time.

Some Ammanford residents have taken to social media to air their views.

Irena Mary Hopkins said: “The Ammanford office is, so that is why people are moaning in the Town. I spoke to one of the staff this morning, so I know the office is closing and it is not going t o do a lot of good for us local people in Haverfordwest, even if you have some reporters working from home. IT HAS TO HAVE A FACE HERE.”

Christine Davies said: “Steve Adams you will lose a lot of local trade in Ammanford I’m sure. Think again before you close this branch. I will not buy the guardian if you pull out of Ammanford town , and I know a lot of local people feel the same.”

Speaking about the closure, former news journalist Barrie Thomas said: “It is sad that yet another weekly newspaper office is to shut.

“Although more contact can be made online these days, many like to know of a familiar place to call with stories and adverts. Local newspaper offices have been important hubs in communities such as Ammanford.

“It’s disappointing to see them disappearing.”

West Wales media consultant Robert Lloyd, former editor of the Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star newspapers, said: “It’s another sad say for journalism in West Wales.

“In recent months, we have seen the closure of newspaper offices in Llanelli and Carmarthen.

“The newspaper landscape in West Wales is dominated by two big players – Reach (Western Mail, South Wales Evening Post, Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star) and Newsquest (South Wales Guardian, Western Telegraph and Cardigan and Tivyside Advertiser).

“Sadly, the days of locally-owned and independently-run newspapers have long gone.

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“The ‘big players’ in the newspaper industry are committed to an ‘internet first’ approach to news, at the expense of print media.

“It’s an approach which involves centralising and shedding editorial staff, rationalising sales staff, syndicating material in publications and pulling away from a High Street presence which used to give news teams the chance to meet their readers.

“The giant news corporations will point to increased ‘hits’ on websites as a marker for their success.

‘Another sad day for journalism’: Robert Lloyd

“But the harsh reality is that local newspapers in West Wales are getting more remote from their readers. As news teams lose that very local, day-to-day contact with readers and customers, so print publications lose their relevance to local communities.

“Office closures, such as the one in Ammanford, are an inevitable consequence of the domination of the newspaper landscape by large corporations keen to keep dividends sweet for City shareholders and driven by a relentless desire for more website clicks.”

Mr Lloyd added: “Doubtless, I am regarded as something of a media dinosaur by some for still believing that print still has a future.

“We’ve had plenty of false prophets predicting the imminent demise of printed newspapers. “I happen to think that there is still a future for a well-produced, well-written, relevant and entertaining local newspaper in many of our communities.

“Newspapers should be at the heart of communities (participants in community life, not observers from afar) with easy-to-access offices in their local High Street.

“Colleagues in the industry have a chuckle when I say the wheel may soon turn and the day may come when independently-owned local newspapers will spring up and again in Welsh communities.

“It’s a hope. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

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